Dr. Sarah Janes, vice president of the San Jacinto College Continuing and Professional Development division; Bridget Kramer, San Jacinto College Aerospace Academy project coordinator; Janejit Gensler, project manager for NASA’s education initiatives on the Space Station; Arturo Sanchez III, NASA’s lead education program specialist; Angie Hughes, Aerospace Academy director; Dr. Brenda Hellyer, chancellor of San Jacinto College; Rosemary Hodge, Aerospace Academy accountant; Bob Musgrove, NASA’s deputy director of education; and Kim Taliaferro, Aerospace Academy project coordinator. Photo credit: Amanda L. Booren, San Jacinto College marketing department.
NASA – Johnson Space Center awards grant for STEM education through robotics at San Jacinto College
Jeannie Peng-Armao -- September 26, 2012
PASADENA, Texas – NASA - Johnson Space Center has awarded $183,715 to the San Jacinto College Aerospace Academy for the promotion of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) literacy to more than 600 school students and their teachers.
The grant will fund the Robotics, Ocean, Microgravity Explorers (ROME) Challenge to educate students about the microgravity environments that are experienced aboard the International Space Station (ISS). The project will include the training of 10 San Jacinto College honors students in the basics of underwater robotics construction and operation.
“NASA fully supports efforts to increase STEM education in schools and to increase student interest in space exploration through robotics education,” said Janejit Gensler, project manager for NASA’s education initiatives on the Space Station. “The ROME Challenge is just one of the many examples of how students of all ages can apply their math and science skills while utilizing a simulated reduced gravity environment on Earth to correlate what is being accomplished aboard the Space Station.”
The students will then serve as coaches to middle school science classes participating in the ROME Challenge and prepare presentations about the ISS, microgravity, and robotics to demonstrate the correlation to the underwater robotics activities.
"Studies have shown that utilizing robotics in the middle school classroom enhance students’ learning potential and increase their interest in the STEM careers," said Kim Taliaferro, project coordinator with the San Jacinto College Aerospace Academy. "Early exposure to wide ranging STEM careers broadens students' choices and opportunities as they transition from secondary education to the college and technical training environments."
Upon completion of the ROME Challenge, 20 school students will be selected to operate their robots in the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL) with help from their San Jacinto College coaches.
About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. The Achieving the Dream Leader College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of 30,000 students in more than 200 degree and certificate options, including university transfer and career preparation. Students also benefit from the College’s job training programs, renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $630 million each year to the Texas workforce. San Jacinto College. Your Goals. Your College.
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